Casino Cooking 101
By By Adam Prestridge
Wind Creek Casino &Hotel continues its mission to become one of the top tourist destinations in the South with the grand opening of an upscale Cooking Studio scheduled later this week.
Celebrity Chef Carla Hall will fire up the grills with the multi-million dollar resort’s corporate chef Stafford DeCambra Friday morning for demonstrations during a media event where the SubZero/Wolf powered studio will be unveiled.
PCI Gaming Authority President Jay Dorris said he believes the addition of the cooking studio not only gives guests of the 236-room hotel the opportunity to try their hand at cooking, but also makes Wind Creek superior to competitive casino resorts.
The Cooking Studio features a studio and auditorium. The 735-square foot studio is equipped with six cooking stations for small classes that offer one-on-one attention. The 1,420-square foot auditorium will be used during demonstrations.
Hall gained national attention after an finishing as a finalist on the Bravo television network’s “Top Chef: New York.” Stafford, a gold medalist in the prestigious Culinary Olympics, is pleased to be working with Hall as they launch the new studio.
Hall is owner and chef of Alchemy Caterers in Washington, D.C. From her roots in Nashville, Tenn., through her quest to becoming a chef, she has recognized the importance of regional cooking schools such as Wind Creek’s Cooking Studio and the impression they make on amateur chefs.
Hall began her career out of business school working for a top national accounting firm before following her passion for cooking. On her path, she moved to Europe where she worked as a runway model while learning French cooking techniques, adding her southern flare. She later returned to the U.S. where she enrolled in a regional cooking school in Washington, D.C. where her dream became reality.
Stafford said he agrees with Hall and believes a regional cooking studio in south Alabama has endless opportunities.
Day-to-day operations at the Cooking Studio will be managed by Chef Anthony Angelotti, a cooking instructor for more than a decade and a member of “Chefs for Humanity.”
Also slated to open this weekend is the new Spa at Wind Creek featuring private men’s and women’s steam saunas, whirlpools and relaxation lounges based around comfort foods, as well as, Jacuzzi featuring a waterfall, cold plunge, nail spa, fitness area and retail boutique. There are eight treatment rooms, seven of which are private and one for couples.
Dorris believes the addition of the spa “round out” the amenities already offered at Wind Creek Casino &Hotel including fine, casual and buffet dining; indoor and outdoor entertainment together with an amphitheater; luxurious hotel rooms with pool, conference rooms and ballroom available for use and, of course, 50,000 square feet of gaming.
The 11,200-square foot spa at Wind Creek also holds a food theme with delicious treatments that include a Milk and Honey Bath, a Wind Creek “Signature Massage” and a “Spiced Brown Sugar” and “Vanilla Bean” body wrap.
The Cooking Studio will hold VIP events throughout the weekend and will open to the public next week. Fans of Hall and “Top Chef” are invited to meet her and get a signed photograph at the Wind Creek Casino from noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
For a full listing of the Cooking Studio’s classes, visit www.windcreekcasino.com